One Wrong Move

Photo Taken by Amanda Maz

Photo Taken by Amanda Maz

Most people would agree that there is a time and a place for everything.  More specifically, all wardrobe pieces will see their day at least once.  On the other hand, we all know that, much like people, you can not just match any articles of clothing together and expect them to get along.  On my way home today after a long day, I spotted a fashion faux pas of epic proportions that I actually was able to secretly take a photo of!  Everyone around me was quietly making their way home from their Tuesdays.  The man I noticed had on a light-colored blazer, (appropriate for this time of year), and even lighter colored dress shirt, black dress slacks, black leather shoes, and he was carrying a black, leather, soft briefcase.  This was not one of those situations where at first glance you do not notice the flaw.  Right away I observed that he was wearing what I am going to refer to as

THE PIECE THAT RUINED THE OUTFIT

Okay, I need to just come out with it already.  He was wearing an Ed Hardy tie.   Who does that?!?! Look, do not get me wrong, I believe men should use their ties to spice up their outfits, I am even a fan of Ed Hardy at times, but this was just disgusting.  He ruined his whole “laid back, city, working man, on a spring day” look.  To reference an equivalent, think of a newly decorated modern-day bedroom.  You take the time to pick out the perfect bedding, (nothing less than 1,000 thread count Egyptian cotton of course!), the super classy window treatments that you paid way too much for, elegant yet functional side tables, and then

Photo Taken by Amanda Maz

Photo Taken by Amanda Maz

you throw down a vintage, lime green, used, shag carpet area rug that you picked up for 5 bucks at a yard sale.  This would never happen!  It would be beyond blasphemous to say the least!  People, I caution you, do not ruin your entire outfit with one wrong move.  I hope this poor man was not going to an interview!  He would most definitely have received the “We’ll let you know” blow off.  

While I was taking stalker-like photos of this poorly dressed guy, the man sitting next to me, who was without a doubt a tourist, caught me in the act and looked at me like I was a serial killer, or at least totally nuts.  I wanted to let him in on what I was up to, but I decided it would be more fun if he went back to his hometown in South Dakota or wherever and told the funny story of the girl taking random photos of a man she didn’t know.

“A well-tied tie is the first serious step in life.”Oscar Wilde

Quick Aside:  Check out this link a friend of mine told me about from GQ. Style Terms Every Man Should Know.

Mind the Gap

Photo taken by Carmen Andino

Photo taken by Carmen Andino

On any given day I take several rides on the subway.  It is by far and away where I do my best people watching and fashion criticizing.  Today I was on and off a few times, uptown, downtown and back home again: always minding the gap as diligently instructed.  Lately, not just today, I have noticed what I think is a fairly newer mess of a trend.

SHORT PANTS or HIGH HEM PANTS

I do not mean long shorts or Capri pants/pedal pushers/3/4 length, or clam diggers for men( that is an entire other story of wrong doing). But pants that are just too short with a huge a gap between the shoe and the hem.  I know in this day in age socks are sexy and all the rage, but I am sorry you can not wear short pants to show off your socks, I do not care how cute they are. Stop flashing those ankles bro!  In fact, people will not even notice your socks, they are just going to whisper behind you back, “What is with that guy’s pants, why are they so short, he needs a good tailor.”  Do you really want to be the guy people are talking about in this manner?  Seriously, pants that are hemmed too short are a nightmare for you and everyone who has to look at them.  Do not let your mom or whatever other amateur you have on call hem them.  Shell out the extra money to have your pants tailored correctly.  You can walk

Photo Taken by Carmen Andino

Photo Taken by Carmen Andino

into just about any dry cleaners and ask for the alteration.  Hems speak volumes about a man.  If they are too short you look like an uptight mess who can’t even handle getting himself and his wardrobe to a decent tailor.  If they are too long then you just seem like a lazy bum who does not know how to shop for the correct size pants.  Whether you wear jeans, Chinos, corduroys, dress/suit pants or what have you, make sure the hem touches the middle of your shoe please.  When I was growing up you would be associated with Steve Urkel if you had your socks showing with a high hem…If you were a 90’s kid you know what I mean, if you don’t then just trust me you do not want that nerd look.  Cover those ankles, short pants are not cute and rather emasculating.

“‘Tis hell to a man of spirit to be contradicted by his tailor.”
– Richard Garnett

Change It Up Cowboy

Photo Credit: jeanshook.com

Photo Credit: jeanshook.com

Have you ever been so freezing cold you can feel the frost bite migrating throughout your body?  That was how I felt standing in line on Saturday night for a bar in the meatpacking district called 675.  Since when do people stand on line for bars?  All I could think was that they must have been giving out free blow jobs inside because the bouncer was not letting anyone in and not too many folks were coming out. We never made it inside due to hypothermia and impatience.  Although, I walked away intrigued, and I will be back.  We strolled over to Gaslight Lounge not too far away from 675.  Nice crowd, some cute men, and many of them were wearing jeans.  Don’t get me wrong, they were nice jeans and this was meatpacking.  But some men really feel they need to wear

JEANS AT ALL TIMES

Honestly, I have known some men who feel naked if they aren’t wearing denim.  I was never really one for the “nice jeans paired with a blazer or sports jacket” look but I guess it is mildly acceptable. (Downtown only of course)  I know we all like to stay in our comfort zones at times but seriously, “step away from the jeans”  Open yourself up to a world of dress pants, khakis, or dare I say corduroy?!?!  There are other textures out there. Anything, other than jeans all the time.  Everyone loves a good pair of jeans; I have even heard men say they feel that with jeans they can’t go wrong.  This is so foolish, you can go wrong my friends, by wearing jeans like they are your uniform.  Beauty, fashion, and just plain looking good is about more than being comfortable.  So get yourself over to a Bloomingdale’s or a J.Crew or an Express Men or whatever store tickles your fancy (never an Old Navy!) and get yourself a nice pair of pants!  Think about the famous scene from Donnie Brasco when Al Pacino’s character Lefty looks at Johnny Depp’s character Donnie who wears jeans all the time and says something along the lines of, “…go get a pair of pants, this isn’t a f**king rodeo!”  Jeans are allowed; they are comfy, sexy and downright American, they just can not be worn for every occasion possible.  You would not want your crush whispering, “Is that the only pair of pants he owns?” would you? Change it up cowboy!

“I have often said that I wish I had invented blue jeans: the most spectacular, the most practical, the most relaxed and nonchalant.  They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity – all I hope for in my clothes.”  ~Yves Saint Laurent

 

Photo Credit: www.uproxx.com

Photo Credit: http://www.uproxx.com

Quick Aside: I hope it goes without saying that skinny jeans, tapered jeans, or Cavaricci jeans are never allowed, not even on AC Slater.

In Transit

Photo by Stephen Swintek/Getty Images

Photo by Stephen Swintek/Getty Images

When taking a short trip or a long journey we all put so much effort into what we are packing and not so much effort into what we will be wearing while in transit.  I recently got home from a fabulous trip to Washington DC to visit loved ones. Great Town! I always favor air travel as my preferred mode of transportation but this time I took the bus.  For anyone who has ever driven to DC from New York you know it is a long trip.  I had a lot of time to think.  So I looked around and realized that most everyone looked like a slob.  So what advice is there to give in terms of

TRAVEL WEAR

When it comes to trains, planes, and automobiles the rules are always the same.  Just because you are traveling does not mean you can dress like an idiot.  People are still going to see you.  And like I always say by the laws of the universe the worse you look the more likely it is you will run into your boss, ex, or current crush.  Hey, maybe the good-looking flight attendant will wind up being the person of your dreams, hello first impressions!  You can always tell the sharp dressed men who are on a business trip.  They often have to dress up because they have a hot-shot business meeting to attend as soon as they arrive at their destination.  I am not saying you need to put on a suit and tie every time you get on the subway or take a scenic train ride to upstate New York, but you can not look like you just rolled out of bed and covered your greasy hair up with a hat for travel.  There was a guy like this on my bus ride down to DC.  I wanted to say, “Bro, this is a 4 hour bus ride not an overnight ride in a sleeper car on the Orient express, get out of your pajamas!”  Like I always say find a middle ground.  It is important to be comfortable but that does not give you permission to look like hell.  Here are a few extra but essential tips:

1. Always dress in layers, not a million sloppy hoodies but sweater, collared shirt blazer type layers

2. If it is summer and you are wearing sandals of some kind, carry a pair of socks, they always pump up the air conditioning during travel and your toes will freeze.

3. Never under any circumstance can you wear a track suit

4. Make sure your travel bag is sophisticated and chic.  That means no high school duffel bags, no old ass back packs, and absolutely no garbage bags.  Nothing kills a nice look more than a poor accessory.

5. If you are traveling with any expensive jewelry keep it on your person or do not bring it.  If you are wearing it or have it in a pouch in your pocket then it is less likely to get lost or damaged.

6. It is ok to travel with a neck pillow as an accessory; it is not ok to whip out one of those corny ones with a panda bear attached to it, I don’t care who bought it for you!

7. Always bring a sexy yet functional scarf of some kind.  You never know when it may have to double as a blanket, a pillow or a force field against the fat man hacking up a lung sitting beside you. Gross!

Photo Credit:  http://menshealth.com

Photo Credit: http://menshealth.com

8. Don’t forget your sunglasses.  Whether your journey is long or short your eyes may look beat by the end.  Cover them up and you’ll look super fresh.

9. Fanny packs on men= NEVER EVER ALLOWED!

Quick Aside:  No travel ensemble is complete without your own headphones and a sleep mask.  With all the crying kids and flourescent lighting these days you are a fool to travel without either one.

Check out these links! Bose Headphones   and     Sleep Masks

“Dress up your sportswear and dress down your formal wear.”
– Luciano Barbera

2012 in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,500 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

Out With the Old

wire-hangersHello everyone!  I must begin by apologizing for being absent for so long.  It was a hectic holiday season but I am back on track.  Thank you all for being loyal readers during my blogging career thus far. Every one loves the idea of a fresh start and I have always believed that it is never too late to start over.  So today I would like to suggest to all the men out there some fashion related

NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

Now is the time to let go and leave behind all of our reckless wardrobe blunders and look towards more stylish days ahead.  First and foremost, you must take some time to access every piece of your clothing and I mean everything.  Look through all garments from socks to formal wear.  Get out a box for donation and get rid of anything that:

·        Does not fit (ie. items you promised yourself last year would fit you after you lost all the holiday weight)

·        Is ripped, torn, stained, stretched out, too faded, etc. (even old ratty gym clothes need to be replaced every once in a while)

·        Was a mistake to purchase in the first place (we all have impulse purchases)

·        A gift someone gave you that you’ll never wear (Thanks Aunt Lulu for this cool authentic suede vest with fringe, I can’t wait to wear it….NOT!)

·        You have not worn in the last year and never will (be honest with yourself)

·        Reminds you of your ex like a crappy old T-shirt they gave you (*exception unless the item is super stylish, expensive, and/or irreplaceable like a nice winter coat, and classy pair of gloves, or a fancy leather wallet, some items are timeless and never worth giving up!)

·        You bought for a specific occasion that never happened. (I guess that Cowboys and Indians theme party is not going to be rescheduled?)

·        You thought would look fabulous and you wore it once and then it looked horrible on. (ie. Some items look magnificent on the hanger but we must try on at all times before purchase…golden rule, don’t fight it)

·        Hand-me-downs that never quite made it onto your body (I loved my late uncle Earl but I really just don’t see myself wearing his purple velvet leisure suit that he left me)

how-to-design-a-mans-closet-1You must make room now in your attire for the fresh and new.  Get rid of the crap and clear the space for the fabulous!  Make sure to gather all your gift cards from the holiday and those you may have received throughout the year but did not have a chance to use. (Some gifts cards have expiration dates so be sure to use them!) January is one of the best if not the best time to shop.  All of the stores have the biggest sales and you can make outstanding purchases at a great price.  Take inventory of all the gifts you got over the holidays that you want to exchange. Don’t worry about hurting Aunt Peggy’s feelings, she will probably never notice.  Exchange that ugly sweater for something you really want and will wear. If you keep the ugly sweater to be diplomatic and never wear it, that is a fashion crime.  And while you are tossing things out, get rid of all wire hangers.  They are also a crime.

“Looking good isn’t self importance; it’s self respect.” ~Charles Hix

Everyone Will Notice

whiteSocksHave you ever walked into a friend’s home after not being there for a while and thought silently to yourself, “Wow! The place looks good.  New furniture, new window treatments, they still could use a fresh coat of paint but a lot of progress has been made here.”  This is exactly how I felt after taking a short bus ride to Harlem.  I had not been there in a really long time but they really have done a lot with the place.  I was early for the event I had to attend there so naturally I took a stroll around the neighborhood.  I wound up walking into The Studio Museum in Harlem.  What a quaint museum.  They really had a lot to offer for such a small space and I would highly recommend a visit to anyone.  As I was walking around the galleries I was amongst other art lovers and museum goers of course.  I was admiring a unique exhibition called “Harlem Postcards” when out of the corner of my eye I spotted one of the biggest fashion faux pas of all time.

WHITE SOCKS WITH DARK SHOES

You might ask how I noticed while I was admiring the artwork.  Well, a mistake this colossal is difficult to miss.  Those improperly worn white socks were glaring at me.  It really does not matter if you were late running out of the house or if all your dark socks were dirty.  White socks are for athletic sneakers only.  In fact, if your sneakers happen to be dark then you need dark athletic socks. Where do men get the nerve to wear white or light-colored socks with dark shoes? I mean, white socks totally negate the nice pair of shoes you are wearing. And do not think for one second that if you are wearing long pants that no one will notice, everyone will notice!  You know how you hear about someone who is really poor and living in a trailer yet they have a Ferrari parked outside and it just seems wrong somehow.  This is the same thing.  I found a really fun website called The Joy of Socks.  Check it out.  But to be honest, you can get decent dark socks anywhere so there really is no excuse. Don’t be afraid to express yourself with your socks, they always make for an interesting conversation piece.  Just do yourself a favor and don’t commit fashion suicide with your sock choice. Always remember what Miuccia Prada said,

“What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today, when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language.”

mjQuick Aside:  I know what some of you may be thinking.  “What about Michael Jackson, he rocked the dark pants + black shoes + white socks look?”  Sometimes famous people make fashion choices in the name of irony.  And let’s face it, MJ can do no wrong.  So until you are unanimously named The King of Pop, do the right thing and don’t make any foolish statements.